Posted by: fvbcdm | September 4, 2014

Feast of Saint Rosalia (4 September 2014)

I am happy to be back with you with the Catholic Daily Message after three weeks of absence. There are many things to report to you today. My travel group and I had a wonderful river cruise in Russia, from Saint Petersburg to Moscow, with many stops along the rivers in between those two principal cities of Russia. It was very possibly the most informative trip I’ve ever taken, and the most unusual. In the days ahead, I will tell you more of what I learned and experienced during those fourteen days in the great nation that is awakening from a seventy-year period of oppression and imprisonment by the forces of atheistic communism. The contrast between what I saw there in 1980 and what I have just seen this year is immense, thank God.

After those two wonderful weeks in Russia, some friends and I were able to spend five days at the home of a friend in Avon, Colorado, a beautifully situated town just next to the famous ski resort of Vail. However, the day after we arrived in all that serene beauty of the Rocky Mountains, the hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans and the Mississippi gulf coast, and we were in the weird position of sitting in the midst of indescribable beauty and tranquility while watching the horror in Louisiana and Mississippi unfold before our eyes on the television reports. A first cousin of mine was a resident in a nursing home in New Orleans. When the mandatory evacuation orders were issued, the elderly residents had to be air-lifted to Houma, Louisiana, which was in a better condition than New Orleans. But in the confusion and lack of communication and electrical power, seventeen of them “didn’t make it,” as we have been told. No one is sure what that means. But the National Guard has issued a list of the seventeen missing persons; they are presumed to have died somewhere in the evacuation process. But because everything has been so indefinite, confused, and uncertain, we really don’t know what has actually happened. We can only pray and wait for the actual facts to be discovered and made clear. So our beautiful and memorable vacation ended with the sorrow of knowing that my native city of New Orleans has suffered the greatest disaster in its nearly three-century history, and wondering about the condition and whereabouts of relatives, confreres, former parishioners, and friends about whom we can find no information, or just conjecture and uncertainty. It’s like war, with death, destruction, and disruption of human life all around. May God have mercy on all the victims, dead and living, and bring good out of this natural and man-made disaster.Thank you for seeking God’s truth.  God bless you.  Father Victor Brown, O.P.

Note:  This Message was composed some years ago.

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